Level: Shipwreck Ithaca back home search
Author(s): Colin Benson
total rating:8.28 Gameplay &
Objects &
Sound &
Lighting &
DJ Full 7 7 8 7
izzynoodles 9 10 7 8
Jay 8 8 9 8
Jose 6 8 7 9
manarch2 6 7 8 7
Phil 9 8 9 8
Rambo 7 8 8 8
Ruben 10 9 10 9
Ryan 8 8 9 9
Torry 10 10 10 10
category averages
(10 reviews)
8.00 8.30 8.50 8.30

Reviewer's comments

"In life of every hardcore player there comes a critical day, so many thanks to Izzy, not just for the walkthrough but for diving there before me so I could simply feel less lonely in this game - impossible to play in one go, insanely long, extremely dragging, ridiculously overdone - and knowing how much courage I still needed to attempt it, even aware you cleared the path, I'm sure without you I wouldn't have power to read between the lines and appreciate the best of this unspeakably demanding yet probably the best (?) level Colin has ever made. In fact it's probably the only game where his style works (copied from and to countless maps where it doesn't, what made the entire anthology less appealing): the usually failing elements make you sink into this ship in a different, unique way: large rooms are elegant and majestic, blue crystals seem colder, eerier and more hidden in the cold setting, a look at lifeless chunks emphasises isolation, and picking up countless items fits the desired slow pace. But this pace is also the main problem: while three hours would suffice to tell a full story, here I needed them for a sole prologue in cargo hold, then equal amount of time for every next chapter, and literally ages passed until the first highlight (precisely two levels until the dance puzzle), and while I know anticipation is a good thing, this is just too much. I found some non-generic stuff when going for secrets, but I either failed to find many unfair ones or I was simply too exhausted with main gameplay to look for them, so any satisfaction gained from the rest was drowned. And guess what? I still did it... I finished the game 100% because I'm a 100% resident masochist. In the end, the compulsive part of me feels accomplished, the reasonable part questions why the compulsive one even bothered, and the primeval survival part screams "Enough! Been there. Done that. Never again."" - DJ Full (11-Jul-2019)

"A very lengthy and very complicated four- parter, of the type that we've come to expect from this builder, but definitely more enjoyable than the Primeval/Primordial Catacombs games. Ship levels are somewhat of a rarity, and the TR2 assets used here brought all the memories flooding back (although I am aware that nostalgia isn't necessarily a criterion for reviewing a level) and it looks very impressive and majestic indeed. There's a lot of ground to be covered in terms of exploration (if you choose just to follow the mandatory paths, your time might be noticeably quicker, but if you go for the secret gems and coins prepare to spend rather a lot of time here) plus a lot of backtracking, but also some pretty neat puzzles to solve (the mathematical puzzle, while only for a secret sapphire, was ingenious), which tilts things towards the more enjoyable end of the spectrum. Talking of sapphires, I also appreciated that the secret rooms actually were secrets this time, making it so much more rewarding. I did look at the walkthrough a bit to try and locate everything (me being a completist by nature), with the result that I spent over 5 hours here, but it was definitely worth it." - Ryan (21-May-2019)

"Part 1. Love the underwater sequences that provide air holes so that you can explore without dying ad infinitum. The coins idea is a pleasant change, Lara can line her purse as she explores. Found 20 in part 1 although I bet there are more. Only found one crystal allowing access to one secret chamber but the reward was welcome. Weaponry here is rather non existent and there are plenty of enemies including goons, SAS and variants of the Creature from the Black Lagoon roaming about. There are many, many rooms to explore and you need to go about carefully else you will miss an access point and then be lost forever. Exiting the level requires the location and use of two gear cogs, yes those ones from the Lost Valley were on this ship being transported when it was sunk. Funny how things work in the Tomb Raiding world. You need to position the engine pistons just as in TR2 to gain access to the gog wheel mechanism and whilst you did not move the pistons themselves they carried raising and falling blocks which resulted in the same affect. Some of the sounds were missing unfortunately. Such as a door opening. This took me a good 90 minutes to complete. Part 2. Here you are tasked with finding the three fuses to bring the elevator to life so that you can get to the upper decks of the ship for part 3. This is a fantastic adventure in the bowels of the ship and I just loved it. I managed to find three gems so accessed three secrets and now my weaponry is almost complete. Found 22 coins in this one and took another 90 minutes to complete. The mathematical puzzle was clever and it took me a minute or two to realise what was required. Part 3. Here you are tasked with locating four junction boxes to open the door for the cafeteria key to access level 4. The rooms and tasks involved are huge and this level took me a good hour and 45 minutes. There are many of those mutants about and they normally attack in threes. I found only 19 coins in this one but found another three secret crystals. What I liked about this one is that even if you did not complete the required tasks in order you would eventually find your way to the four junction boxes without the aid of the walk through. My only issue was remembering where exactly some areas were so I tended to wander about aimlessly at times looking for that newly opened door. Part 4. This is the escape level where you are trying to find the keys that will allow you access to the life raft to get away from here. This level turned into a simple key hunt and again it was easy to get turned around with doors opening that you had no idea of their location. I never found a secret crystal room in this one either. One diabolical timed run down a huge cavernous room in the bowels of the ship had me trying for quite some time to retrieve yet another key. I ended up with 92 coins in total but I am sure there are more scattered about. Overall I loved this adventure. Ship levels are so few and far between and I thought this one was really well done. All in all I spent 6 and a half hours here." - Torry (30-Aug-2018)

"Considering this is a shipwreck theme, which can often seem limited in visuals, the environments are quite varied and do not get boring especially for such a long game; any underwater area looks stunning. Finding Sapphires in order to then claim secrets... which is the only way to gain other weapons is a fantastic touch, I can't express how much I love this idea! There are also other very subtle puzzles such as 'don't step on this tile otherwise the door to this pick up will close'. It's full of such interesting things like this and I feel it's a shame some of them them were just for med packs. Such a great level set. Took 6 and a half hours to play." - izzynoodles (19-Aug-2018)

"If you've played previous adventures from Colin, you'll soon recognize his peculiar style. This time in a sunken ship. Huge rooms with a lot of exploration and many pickups, considerable backtracking if you take the wrong paths, good care with the texturization and lighting, good use of the cameras, but many times pointing to places you've not visited yet, few musics to create atmosphere and enough guns and ammo only if you find the secret jewels. There are some interesting puzzles (the best in the last level with the moveable crate and raising/lowering blocks) but another times I had to use the trial and error, like in the big pool with the many burning ledges. This time I ignored the coins pickups to make the gameplay more fluid. Perhaps it can be tedious in some big areas, but you can always use the provided walkthrough to advance faster (a lot of the gameplay is not included in the author's walkthrough so, it's your choice). Again a good work for pure explorers anyway." - Jose (04-Oct-2017)

"Gameplay & Puzzles: There is much to do in four very long levels, not everything is so great, gameplay is a bit tedious, but on the whole it's quite an adventure. There are some good puzzles, loved the marionetta one, but a bit few tasks. Enemies, Objects & Secrets: The enemies are nicely chosen and placed, some custom enemies and objects fit well. The secrets are very hard to find and there are some good tasks for some. Atmosphere, Sound & Cameras: Good architecture in here and very much detail. It lacks a bit in sounds (some levers are silent) and cameras (hints) but the atmosphere is quite nice. Lighting & Textures: The textures are well placed and there are not many mistakes, the lighting is ambient but a little dark. Total: 7,75/10, long and adventourous but it could have more tasks in it." - Rambo (16-Sep-2014)

"This is a huge, sprawling 4-part ship level that took me every bit of four and a half hours to complete, even with the help of the builder's much-appreciated walkthrough. There's very little difference of note in the four levels, which gives the player the impression of a continuing exploration of a massive ocean liner. The enemies are profuse and predictable, consisting almost exclusively of SAS and thugs. I found a whopping total of one secret sapphire (in the second level, I believe), but I understand there were many more than that. Either I wasn't looking very hard or they were extremely well hidden. There were also gold coins lying around everywhere or hidden in containers (and sometimes dropped by a dead enemy). They had no function other than the satisfaction of finding them, and I wound up with 48 of them by the time I'd finished. Not a barn burner by any means, but a good, solid, competent raid that's lots of fun, typical of what we've come to expect from this experienced builder. Recommended." - Phil (22-Jul-2014)

"Quality over quantity is certainly not Colin's strength, since this levelset mainly continues his approach on building extensively long levels with many areas that seem intriguing at first but behold not much more than a few items or coins, and backtracking through the whole level is often necessary, especially if you took a certain path too early. Tedium is certainly coming up here, but the levels themselves are a bit shorter than before (all around 45 minutes), so this time it wasn't that bad actually. And actually, there are some really fun puzzles to solve here which are on the clever side mostly, and even if "only" for a secret gem the math puzzle put a smile on my face. In general I appreciate that the builder actually made placing the gems and entering the weapon chambers to a real secret, it is much more rewarding. The setting might be different to the builder's previous sets, but the various devices are still largely present which create a rather successful ship atmosphere. The texturing is decent as well as the lighting. At least the darkness is not an omnipresent factor in this game, and restricted to a few areas where darkness makes sense. Still, the level design is way too similar in each level, save maybe for the lounge areas in the third one, and everything started to feel about the same after some time, and there are still several missing sounds Overall, this is a step upwards compared to the two Catacomb levels, but the builder doesn't go far enough to avert the rather on-dragging nature of his works. Found 11 secrets and exactly 90 coins in 2:45 hours." - manarch2 (18-Jul-2014)

"Excellent ship level taking place in a huge old sunken wreck full of evil creaturs like SAS, thugs and sea monsters so Lara has to plan her steps carefully to avoid or overcome these dangers.Once you find your first secret gem make sure to use it well to pick the weapon and equipment of your choice. A good memory on your way through the various locations is also very very helpful . If in doubt Colin has also provided a walkthrough in his package to ease the players`s pain. A complete quality adventure recommended to all Custom Level Lovers. A splendid time is guaranteed for all." - Ruben (15-Jul-2014)

"Have I mentioned that I really like ship levels? Well I do, so I was well disposed towards this before I even began. It's a long and lively raid and certainly a bit of a shooter so you will have to fight tactically and try not to lose more health than necessary. There are medipacks to be found, but it pays not to be careless with them. Overall, there's a huge area to explore so the fact that the builder included a walkthrough in the download is occasionally a real blessing. There are occasional puzzles and some fun timed runs to achieve and parts of the ship really evoke the original TR2 ship levels so the nostalgia factor kicks in quite a bit. As an interesting sideline, there are gold coins to be found throughout the game, just as a challenge. I found 85, which was probably quite woeful, considering my awful record for finding secrets. Nonetheless, I enjoyed myself quite a lot, even despite the lack of booty I came away with." - Jay (14-Jul-2014)
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